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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 10, 2014 12:00am-2:01am EDT

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then there will be other ideas. we will have to find awe are gnt sustainableo funding source.rce .. to shore up this trust fund. i think we are going to have that conversation fairly soon. others bit the bullet and passed some pretty significant transportation legislation. i suspect washington is now on the verge having to do something similar. stay tuned. whatever we want to do we want to make sure that those of who are using the roads are those that will be largely paying for it. i believe that will be the focus going forward. all theseking at options as we speak, he will have a bit more to say. tweet --
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areas -- any number of just the construction alone was estimated to be 20,000 jobs on the keystone xl pipeline. work, a lot of trenching that would have to be done. is an immediate benefit on the direct side. all the folks who are providing the best aerials -- providing the materials, all are going to be very much impacted as well. number ofan enormous jobs. this issue has caught up in politics. has become ideological. the state report says if we build this pipeline that it will not have an impact on carbon emissions because this soil is going to go somewhere. i would arsenal that i would
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also argue that transporting this oil by truck and rail is not a very energy efficient way to move all this. host: is the xl pipeline done for the year? i would prefer harry reid simply allow for a vote on the keystone xl pipeline. i don't know why this is so complicated. i know there are many in the senate's who would like to see this move forward. just allow a straight up or down vote. why does it have to be attached to something else? --elieve senator reed senator reed has the authority to schedule an up or down vote. >> tony is coming in from
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minnesota. please go ahead. caller: i am a businessman. i started three businesses in my lifetime. i employed over 160 employees. partiesking that both are completely missing the solution to america's problem, especially with the highway system. when eisenhower started to build these highway systems in our the 40's 50's and gasolinetax rates for was only about four percent of the growth tax. now we are taking on the average , which is much higher. och back then the government
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employees that were >> this index there was only 10 percent of the employees hired to maintain in the rose to see it was designed properly but now is completely the opposite we have 43 percent of the dollars paid to government employers use it in fancy offices and only about 50 percent left to actually build the new roads. so it is not the fact that we need to tax more that is the democrats' problem on everything but microscopic lookit each apartment in this nation and say wait a minute if we could build the highways in the '50s and '60s with far less taxation
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and less gallons of gas and we can make it work why can't we do now with three times more taxation? >> host: we have the point spinet you raise the interesting point since the interstate highway system was established by president eisenhower a lot of things happened including this federal process in the '50s it was a lot easier to get to the point of construction. that is not where we are today. you have to go through in many cases years of a process of your preliminary design or environmental impact statements, right if i acquisition. a multi step process and it takes to get to the
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construction we have to streamline because that takes up of lots of money that is allocated for our highway system. with the i 35 rage collapse a few years ago that was rebuilt in 437 days. why was that? because people around the country decided this is an emergency. the bridge had to be rebuilt maybe we should treat all structurally deficient bridges like that. and basically got that be built and my state of pennsylvania. we have already been through
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this particular for bridge replacement to take their limited resources to put them into replacing the resources or even the rose that need to be replaced. >> host: of the house is so concerned about the bill why do you put the focus on benghazi and the irs? >> the irs issue has been with us for some time and we have votes on those two issues but the irs issue is clear to me it is hard for the individual to stand up but i just want to get to the truce.
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and including the ambassador stevens but at the same time we know what happened that the fairy tale was spun. with the finance -- facility in benghazi. and the story was spun in order to protect that campaign narrative with the terrorist attack online 112012. -- on 9/11, 2012. but we're ready to move forward. you will see bipartisan collaboration. that is going to happen at some
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point. host: john is calling in from south carolina. you are on washington journal. a suggestion for c-span. thatlly wanted to talk to democrat guy, i think you need to have both guys on. as far as gas would you agree in the pump enough oil united states to sustain us? guest: what is going to be your follow-up? caller: i'm going to get all the way down to how we fix our roads. host: go ahead and make your statement.
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we pump enough gas and oil to sustain us in the , why are we paying five dollars per gallon per gas? the pipeline. job on the pipeline that means i have to move out to nebraska somewhere. why not build a refinery in north dakota? that shouldn't affect us. i'm military. these gas companies that drill on federal land, they should subsidize our military with free or cut it in half.
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they are not paying any taxes anyway. go ahead and take that money you are giving to these oil companies and fix our roads. guest: i filled the other day and i paid three dollars 75 that -- $3.75 per gallon. can't united states be self-sufficient? absolutely. thesylvania is second-largest gas producing state in the nation after taxes. we have tremendous gas reserves in our country. yes we can become cap's self-sufficient, so much so that -- theree the capacity is a demand for american gas in japan. they need to diversify their supply.
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the answer to your question is yes. are we self-sufficient? todo we have the capacity become north american energy self-sufficient? my answer would be us. i am not prepared to give you a particular time or date. we could largely become north american energy self-sufficient. the big question in the united states is this administration, will it allow for the development of both oil and natural gas resources on federal land to a greater degree than they are doing now? the administration is slow walking the approval process. that is a really big issue. i would argue we are in a great position to become self-sufficient for gas and oil. host: is fracking a loaded term or the industry term?
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guest: this has been going on for decades, hydraulic fracturing. what is really more recent is the notion of horizontal drilling. able tovidual who is drill into the ground and turn it almost at a right angle, i think they do it at a slowing goal. that has been really transformational. hydraulic fracturing is regulated by the states. we use very water intensive practices. waterve to treat the after using it to drinking water standards. we want to make sure these water sources in particular are protected and we want to make sure that happens. hydraulic fracturing has been around for decades.
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it has added the number of jobs in pennsylvania. the price of gas has dropped because we have all the sweet -- all these resources. supply is way up. the mediatant than jobs created by the gas is the fact that these natural gas prices has given our unit -- has given our country and enormous competitive advantage. are paying for the lowest rates in the developed world. that is a major change for maybe a decade ago. we are a lot of interest from foreign investment into the united states. it's a reliable stable supply. when you're dependent on russian
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are notthe russians known as a reliable supplier, they are inclined to cut off supplies if the politics dictate. host: the appropriations committee passed their omnibus bill. we've happy with the final numbers? we passed the commerce justice science built out of the committee and provided allocations, which essentially establishes what each of the 12 subcommittees of the appropriations committee will receive. we set those allocations based on the budget agreement that was enacted in december. the overall discretionary spending number for this fiscal 1.0 4pcoming will be
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trillion. the number this funding the current fiscal year is $1.012 trillion. that is where we are. that is split 12 ways. not equally between ways. also takes a big chunk. that was established yesterday. host: what is the next step in the process? guest: get processes one month ahead of schedule. -- they havers been working to restore washington to a regular order process. it is important that we send a
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message that we can government, that we are capable of doing what the public sent us here to do. i think we have been lurching from one crisis to the next. i believe it is important to provide some level of budgetary sodictability and stability that the public have some confidence in washington. we were in the situation where there was always a threat of asset -- threat of a shutdown or default. i think we have to get back to of business.der when you do that it provides for a lot more stability and atmosphere and also frees up time and oxygen to do other things, like the keystone pipeline or transportation bill or whatever the issue is that people want to talk about. host: the chair of the appropriations committee will be c-span's asked this week on
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newsmakers, which airs at 10 a.m. on sunday mornings. carolyn in westchester on our republican line. thank you for holding. caller: i was wondering why congress is not investigating building seven. what happened on 9/11. the attacks took down the buildings on the north and south tower and that contributed to the collapse of building seven. not much i can say about that. host: birds calling from our republican line. caller: thanks for the service you do. i really appreciate what you said about benghazi earlier and just wanting to find the truth. that is a levelheaded approach anybody should take. i want to apologize because my question really is for peter.
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just like the last caller, i know you get a lot of questions about building seven on your and hosts tend to be perturbed by that. a lot of times say you covered it and i just want to establish for the audience that cutting somebody off and calling them conspiracy theorists when they can't defend themselves is not really covering it or debate. i also know that one of the leading organizations behind questioning what happened with building seven offered c-span a chance to air this on their programs back in september, a chance to have a debate with them and somebody advocating for the official story of what happened to the openings on that day. my question is why hasn't c-span taken them up on that offer? host: thank you for calling in with your views. ron is calling in from west chesterfield, new hampshire. caller: good morning.
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i would like to get back to repatriating dollars back into the united states. president obama raised his hand in 2008, the republicans have been doing nothing but reading -- rating every social program under the guise of paying down our deficit. it doesn't matter whether it is unemployment, kids going to school for head start, military benefits, they have cut money from everything under the guise of paying them a deficit. there is one segment of the population that the republicans refused to come to. i believe repeat treating dollars back into the united whyes at 40% is a reason
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these corporations are keeping their money's overseas, i believe if we were to go up to 60% one month from now and two months from now that tax will go up to 80%, i believe the for that tax ever gets to 60% these corporations would have a lot of money back into the united states. is just another large corporate giveaway, and other large corporate tax loophole. host: i think we have the point. guest: on the issue of free petri shin, we have to be clear about this. states taxes these multinational companies anyway that is different than the rest of the developed world. a an american company builds facility, a chemical plant in ireland, it will pay 12.5% of the irish government. a german company that builds the
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same plant in ireland will pay 12.5%. the german company will take their profits back to germany without paying any additional tax. payamerican company gets to the difference between 12.5% and 30%. the tax code allows for these companies to defer bringing back that money. they keep all this cash overseas. idea is to allow for a repatriation. maybe five percent. we try to make it more reasonable? also the fact that the united statutory a large corporate income tax in the world is not helpful at 35%. we need to get that rate closer to 25, where most of the developed world is. simply threatening these companies means they were likely
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to contain them that continued keeping their money overseas and use their moneys for overseas operations. this absurd policy is incentivizing american headquartered companies to set their headquarters up in other countries. worse of all we will have more job loss that way.
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matt china has become a the factory to the world is in the way that makes the lifestyle possible we could not have the quality of life that we enjoy without low-cost labor from china. now increasingly southeast asia and now today the standard of living is all we 16 of you did as states with per-capita income and that is a source of frustration because we all know we work hard and participate in the global economy and play by the rules but do not enjoy the quality of life from them west people had no radio what life was like. now they can sit on a computer to have the
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accurate understanding of what it works in washington d.c. so it tightens the conflict. [inaudible conversations] good morning. i would like to welcome anyone to the subcommittee. with the house oversight
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reform committee the title of today's hearing is mixed signal the administration policy on marijuana. this is the third in a series of hearings that we have been conducting to look at some of the changes in the law in some of the practices we see across the country with the uc and enforcement of the law relating to marijuana. the order of business is starting with opening statements from myself and other members and when we finish with that, we have two panels. we have the delicate from the district that we will hear from first then we have
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a panel of four witnesses we will hear from in the second panel. we gather today and i will start out by saying with the opening statement to fill is an important responsibility with the investigative role of this committee, we are said here by the people not only to legislate on some matters that with the most investigated oversight role in the house of representatives this is a long standing committee. as a senior member having served longer than anyone else on the committee, it
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does to fill and important role to keep government accountable and responsible. as today's hearing relates to the district of columbia there have been some pronouncements what is the committee doing looking at the law but i will start. first of all, the district of columbia is not a state or a territory or possession in fact, it is a federal district provided for under the constitution with a specific statute. the law that we talk about impact not only the people of the district but the
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united states and we have millions of people visiting each year. it is a lot that it is in conflict with federal laws and we have an important responsibility to review the implications. emi signaling out the district of columbia for examination of the impact of changes of marijuana laws? absolutely not. to previous hearings we specifically looked at the impact in colorado that has gone beyond the statute in the district and we're looking at other states. more than 20 states have authorized and changed the legal framework of marijuana for medical use. says this is again directed
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with our responsibility by the constitution or a unique responsibility. and in response to its response. . . . . on federal land.
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i am colorblind, but they tell me that they green that you see, there is a great deal of territory that, in fact, is federal land. i asked the question of staff, but if i am standing on the mall which adjoins -- i guess it is independence avenue with 1 foot on each side of the roadway near , what the impact of enforcement would be. no one can tell me. there are many questions that have been raised by the district , adoption i'm a bill that reduces the penalty for marijuana possession from a criminal offense currently punishable by jail time to raise civil offense punishable by a $25 fine. again, it is in conflict with some of the federal statutes. currently we have marijuana as a schedule one narcotic.
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currently we have different levels of enforcement and penalty for its use on federal property of which you can see we have a great deal and the district of columbia. so that is one of the reasons we're here. again, some people, including a witness to my question our party. let me just review the authority under the constitution of the united states. article one section eight is very evident to exercise the exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever over the district. and our authority in this regard stems from the constitution. as you know, the district was created by an act of congress in 1790 and subsequently we have a 1973 law.
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you want to put them up. the act of 1973, and it says the congress of the united states reserves the right at any time, and this is one of those times, to exercise its constitutional authority as legislature for the district. so we do have very clear authority in that regard. and then we are here in the house oversight reform committee that dates back to the early 1800's. congress wanted not only the author risers to conduct oversight and the appropriators composer created agencies or the district of columbia, but also who appropriated, they wanted them to conduct oversight, but they want to the third-party, and we happen to be that their party, house our representatives' committee on
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oversight. and clearly the law will ten clause one point out that this is our responsibility. with that, we will fulfil our constitutional and statutory responsibility and conduct this hearing. i am not here to debate the merits or demerits of criminal law. we are here to examine its impact. we are here to examine the enforcement questions. we are here to examine a host of questions. this is not the last hearing. we started out with the deputy director of the white house policy on drugs. he testified to a number of items in conflict with statements the of heard from the
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president, in fact, even from the president of the united states about, again, the impact of the current marijuana that we see in the marketplace. it physical impact, it's also have an impact on the performance and human intelligence of individuals who have sat at this table until those reasons why we should not lessen penalties and will unleash it, again, but act what is being done around the united states. much in conflict of some agencies and the administration who are now in turmoil trying to figure out how they comply with changes says. albeit the district of columbia, colorado, or some 20 state laws that have been.
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in fact, with many local and federal law enforcement agencies i would ask the staff if we have will list, and the district of columbia we have -- this is a pretty extensive list of enforcement agencies in the district starting with the united states capitol police, the united states secret service , the supreme court police, the united states park police. even the smithsonian have police we have a whole host year of agencies that are charged with enforcing the law within the district of columbia and also had different sets of penalties that they must enforce that may be in conflict with the law that has been proposed by a district for the district. so, again, we have issues that
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relate not only to the district, but to law enforcement with other multiple agencies within the district of columbia and that have it legitimate law enforcement role in the district so, again, we are here to look at the -- some of these issues to explore the implications of this new law and its impact on the district, the audience of people who will visit, and we hope to do so in a responsible manner. whether or not we will make any further recommendation, not going to prejudge. we have not heard all the testimony. invited the district to also
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send representatives from the district council, and i think it chose not to do that. i am disappointed that there are not sending someone who actually adopt the policy, but we do want to provide an opportunity for the representative of the district to testify and have her position stated on the record, has the will to in just a minute. are there for the numbers that would seek recognition? >> thank you, mr. chair. i want to thank you for holding this hearing. i think that the statements of the previous hearings of the drugs are anti, deputy director of that came here spoke for themselves and speak for the presidents to need to replace those people and have people in positions to reflect the values of america, the values of
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president obama and the values of the people voting in states throughout this country were 21 states have medical marijuana and to have recreational marijuana. in this particular case one of the things that i really liked about the state's adopting this is my favorite supreme court justice said the states of the laboratories of democracy. the state's contract things. d.c., while not a stake of as a separate jurisdiction and can be a laboratory of democracy. and no better laboratories of democracy and right here but members of the house of representatives situated to way they can see and be a round and experience in their homes and home area how this law affects the populace. it has a disparate impact upon african-americans, 8-1 in arrests and a big effect on the d.c. budget that takes away from
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other priorities and can be people spending on him in issues . i am a strong supporter of d.c.'s having the autonomy to address the issues as they did. appreciate your virginity to discuss these issues. >> i think you and should have asked for unanimous consent since you are not on specific committee or subcommittee. without objection we have granted you the ability to participate. at this point out want to ask unanimous consent that i doctor be allowed to participate in a hearing and without objection. that me recognize further, members of the subcommittee we
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will go to a doctor from an. welcome, and your recognized. >> zero want to thank you, mr. chairman, for allowing me to sit in on this. other members of this committee it is up tonight to speak for a moment, not so much specifically about the wall and the unwise ability of relaxing of a family physician has been and alcohol and drug medical director twice, someone who wrote a book about preventing addiction in children back in 2007 and what the impact of marijuana yesterday in america and also changing and it did. you know, it was back about 20 years ago, i believe, that there
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was identified some theoretical value of the use of marijuana medicinal in the case of a dying cancer patients. give them some comfort. of course no one has an it problem with attending to the needs of a dying patient. someone with the terminal illness. somehow this has morphed into claims that marijuana actually cure cancer, that it is necessary to cure nausea and many of the clans that have been completely disputed but in a community. there is nothing that marijuana treats today it cannot be provided by other medications that are much safer. less talk about the safety of marijuana. marijuana is an addicting substance. they're is a myth that it is not. the most common diagnosis for your people admitted to rehab centers today is from marijuana and diction. make no mistake about it. there's also a discussion about marijuana as a gateway drug.
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i tell you what, every addicting substance is a gateway drug to another electing substance. marijuana is not excluded. i would even include alcohol and, perhaps, tobacco. any exposure of an addicting substance often times needs to wars elections. what else did we know? we have learned we had many studies now that confirm is that the human brain does not fully mature in tell almost age 30. yet the average age of a child to has first exposure to alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana is around 11. will we have learned is that these drugs, addicting substance is actually modify the brain and its chemical pathways in the narrow transmitters and set the stage for addiction later in life.
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in fact, the children are exposed to such addicting substances prior to age 15 and five times greater risk of future addiction and those who are not. there is no question that the rate of addiction as a with exposure. two very recent studies have come out just this month. one is being published in our science or in and do mri scans and people used marijuana on it once to twice a week. what they found was profound changes in two aspects of the brain. areas that confirm what we have believed all along, something called a motivational sandra that occurs in regular marijuana users. also, the incidence of psychiatric diseases, particularly schizophrenia is higher among chronic users. heart disease, we're seeing a
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spike. now, there is also very libertarian argument. why should government stand in the way of people utilizing a substance of them wished to do some. apparently that makes sense, but you never hear libertarians make the clinton when i am unable to get or keep a job and can no longer support my family and i will also tell the government not to take care of most are growing entitlements is to. again, i would always challenge those who argue you cannot have it both ways. you can do with of you want your body. on a motorcycle without a helmet don't expect society in taxpayers to take care of you when you are suffering from those circumstances. again, i want to be sure that we have the facts in front of us. we are getting reports in states like, no where marijuana has recently been made legal where
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children in the fourth grade are now dealing the drops. it is finding its way into food, and now we have a spike in poisonings in the emergency rooms where children have ingested marijuana and become quite ill. these are all important things. once again, thank you for the opportunity to join everyone today and yield back. >> thank you. to other members wish to make opening statements? >> with all due respect i just want to clarify some of the libertarian position is not to have the government take care of you. >> would it jen and yield on that. >> absently. >> i would agree that should be. i interact with people every day on this subject. i can tell you -- and i would actually say that there is foe
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in libertarian group amid the clamor on the basis he said would never come with the second part. i agree if you were to take a libertarians chance, if i were to choose myself to ride a motorcycle without a home or to use marijuana, like you we should also demand that government not to provide to a charge of taxpayers to take care of us when that happens. we agree philosophically. there are many who make the claim under the umbrella of libertarianism and it is not at all. >> mr. chair, can i ask a question? >> well, do you wish to yield? >> i yield time. >> i wonder with your argument should be out of also we don't have to pay for the alcoholics who can't get a job?
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should we get rid of alcohol? >> with the gentleman yield? a great question. you know, alcohol has been an accepted part of our culture and religious practices for centers. we did try even with a amendment to the constitution to prohibit the use of it, and it was not culturally accepted. it is problematic, but i would say that on a medical basis moderate amounts above all positive effects not to diminish or it can do. no question that it too can damage. but it is not realistic given the cultural exceptions sure prohibited.
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for half -- and we found out in 1969 when the surgeon general cannot and said that it causes lung cancer and many of the problems we have done a lot of things to mitigate. marijuana is different. the public has been accepted marijuana as a part of our culture. this seems to be changing, but we can turn it back in time to prevent that from inculcating itself and to our culture and imaging were young people and ultimately causing severe health care problems. >> and will you back my time. >> i think the gentleman. as you can see, there is an lot of debate, members what is
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happening is raising many questions. it does have the implications. and going to yield in just a second. i do want to provide at this point in the proceedings the penalties for marijuana possession starting with federal law to one usc coach section 844 which has simple possession, it can provide for one year in prison are fine of not less than a thousand dollars. the new d.c. law, $25 penalty, civil penalty, federal park
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land, penalties in fact are up to six months. twenty-six agencies and are responsible for law enforcement. i have this joint here. this is chief of the cape. don't get too excited out there. this is not a real one. i am told by a staff that this joint, the penalty is -- let's see, up to one mountainous. what accounts is 28 grams. is that correct? each joint has about 1 gram. over 20 joins you could be in possession of and the district of columbia. here is the list of penalties which i am submitting to the record. this, as i said, is a foe joint.
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for the record i will submit this list. they have more experience. all kidding aside one there are serious implications to what the district is doing. we want an open and honest hearing of what will happen and how this will be enforced and the implications. with that i welcome to our delegate. >> i want to thank you very much for the opportunity to testify. i just want to said that under the attorney general policy i think you are safe. the policy is not to enforce
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marijuana laws. i think in the capitol, mr. chairman come before say a few words to summarize my testimony, do have to say i think it is almost quaint. since 1973 when congress realized it is wrong to have the nation's capital where people could not govern themselves refer to my district as a federal district i, of course recognize that the congress can't countenance of all to the power over the nation's capital while granting the citizens of this city the right to govern
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themselves and to make their own local laws in the same way as the members of the panel in their local jurisdictions have those laws made. mr. chairman, notwithstanding that ultimate power, i do note with great power -- pleasure that this full committee on which i surf has, in fact, a respected home will. this is the first time that i can remember that there has been a hearing in congress on a purely local matter. not withstanding the power of congress over the district of columbia, it simply as the seventh and to violate its own principles of local control most of the time by almost always not
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interceding in to our local affairs as american citizens. as to the 20 percent of the district of columbia that is federal land, mr. chairman, six or seven states in the united states and most of their land. and yet we do not claim, this committee does not claim that that presents in a particular problem when it comes to the enforcement of local which may differ from federal. as to the immigration and the number of police forces, they will be enforcing federal law under the attorney general miranda which means that they will not interfere with local law and the district of columbia as it has been passed with respect to marijuana decriminalization. mr. chairman, i appreciate the opportunity to testify.
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i must say, come as much in protest and is the usual sense of testimony. the subcommittee has singled up the district of columbia on its marijuana decriminalization low as it has not singled out any of the other 18 jurisdictions who have similar laws. in fact, the subcommittee in two prior hearings has gone out of its way, although it was investigating exactly what it is investigating here, the conflict between federal and local, it is often finding adherents to the tenth amendment by not calling any local officials and even when it looked at, and particular which along with washington, of course, has gone much further than
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decriminalization and legalized marijuana. still known local official was called to washington to be cross-examined, as it or combine the national legislature about what that no official was doing an ins local jurisdiction. that, too, mr. chairman, is at the root of our constitution. the ultimate authority of the district of columbia because congress to vote that authority in 1973, and it's the landmark will except for a few enumerated conceptions. mr. chairman, almost 40 years ago the first decriminalize marijuana, scan when that since
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then ran and been states like an decriminalize marijuana from california to new york, from mississippi to nebraska and nothing is similar about these tapes except they had taken this particular step in keeping with what in local residents desired. the district of columbia is the only jurisdiction that has gone in fullfledged hearing on its local decriminalization will. nothing distinguishes the district of columbia dis' -- decriminalization from those 18 states except the knowledge and power of the national government to jim what would make the framers turn in their very. that is to overturn alums of
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locally elected officials in their own jurisdiction in contravention of the american principle of local control. the -- is hearing is -- stands out because it does not -- it flies in the face of what my republican colleagues often preach about devolving power back to know "states and jurisdictions. this hearing tries to snatch power by making the district of columbia vindicate its power. and its local policy before the state legislature.
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want to go on record as it we will defend this maryland decriminalization go against any and every attempt to block it were to change it. there will be, as a courtesy, and a city police department official here today. the mayor of the district of columbia's inform me that he objects to his hearing, and he has refused to provide, as has the council, any official in has had anything to do all will have anything to do with advising were carrying out the marijuana decriminalization law in the district of columbia. .. pass
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this >> >> the most important reason i am here today mr. chairman is to make it clear to the
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committee'' will prevail with the district of its own decriminalization lot? even though blacks and whites in the united states and use marijuana at the same rate steady show african americans are four times more likely to be arrested for mere possession mr. chairman it is interesting to note in the state of florida u.s. and number three in the nation for our rest of possession and blacks are arrested at a rate four times that of whites. but he did with the progressive -- but even here in the progress the district of half are black the record
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is worse that african-americans are eight times more likely to be arrested for me your position thancs whites in our city. 91 percent of all marijuana arrests were african-americans. these arrest rates were extremely troubling because in our city and across the country they had ruined the lives of african-americans especially men who started life surrounded by a host of stereotypes who they are and where they live. and of marijuana possession arrest especially low income areas would almost surely
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wipeout the opportunity to find legitimate then it turns to the underground economy even selling drugs. who would pay the price? >> i need to conclude we are over. >> we're over what we'll lot but i would like you to come up to join the panel to ask questions and submit additional information for the record. >> mr. chairman i do want to say given the concern that a member has indicated about the use of marijuana himself that there are legitimate concerns he can be assured the big city that experience whose real drug problems
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like carolyn and cocaine are very clear about the problem of people smoking marijuana. it does not lead to more smoking in fact, chronically that criminalization will start for the first time with the understanding of the risk that would be associated debt we have not heard much about that and tell it to a cold and a free society of course, we must respect the liberty of americans to use such substances rather than opposing simply punishing. the district of columbia has say substance abuse and treatment fund that would be used and with preventative
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actions. mr. chairman i am asking if the city and any further action of this committee got me unfairly targeted in the members of this committee give the people who live in the district of columbia the same respect for their local decisions as they would demand for their own constituents. >> i think the gentlelady. we also welcome her to the panel and appreciate her testimony. we will go ahead and have the second panel seated. if we could do that ms. holmes norton joined us here. while they are doing that, i will put a unanimous consent request is a the record and this relates to federal
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marijuana of prosecutions and in states that have legalized it to maintain a robust rate to the tory scheme. in the to list the priority areas with the marijuana prosecution's. in for use of federal property is one of those exceptions. under this policy is seen as the federal district court would prosecute marijuana federal land but it is contrary to what we just heard. nobody is here today gate the block -- negate the law
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looking at 26 federal agencies responsible for enforcing different penalties so with that do we have our witnesses? if they would step forward we have the assistant chief of metropolitan police, in the acting chief of the united states park service and mr. david o'neill the acting assistant attorney general of the criminal division in our fourth witness. character of the american civil liberties union. remain standing reduce wear
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in our witnesses. raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear or affirm the testimony you are about to give before the subcommittee of congress is the whole truth and nothing but the truth? let the record reflect all of the witnesses' answers in the affirmative. please be seated. we try to get you to limit your testimony to five minutes we will be glad to add additional information if you would like it made part of the record. we will start with peter who was the assistant chief of metropolitan police. you are recognized. turned that up. >> good morning chairman mike and other members of the committee.
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commonplace to be here to discuss the recent legislation to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. in the possession amendment act which is projected to become effective in approximately mid july emmens the district of columbia a criminal code to decriminalized 1 ounce or less of marijuana instead of the of misdemeanor punishable six months in jail and $1,000 fine once the act goes into effect individuals are subject to the $25 civil fine the metropolitan police department's pnc's any visible mayor lot -- marijuana. in any mayor one on a public space is 60 days in jail with a fine of 500.
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the public spaces in a street rally or sidewalk or parker parking area. a vehicle in any area and/or where the public is invited. public attitudes have taken significant way with many expecting it to be no more harmful or addictive than alcohol or tobacco. decriminalizing will help reduce the people with the arrest records for possession of small amounts which may enable them to easily find employment. and maintains criminal penalties which is important to combat drug dealing to insure the quality of life. even though the district of columbia will decriminalize small amounts we will continue to send a message especially to the young people of the danger and the facts just as you do with alcohol and tobacco to
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discourage them from using it. due to the district's unique status some agencies have gone current jurisdictions and can force to stricter federal law anywhere in the city. , they will enforce the local act they're not bound as long as the possession remains of federal criminal defense. >> we will hold questions until the end. >> now let's recognize the acting chief of united states park police. >> faq for the invitation to appear today to discuss the federal government's response to the potential to come as a nation of marijuana possession law.
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and the active chief of the park police and will submit my for all -- will statement for the record. >> without objection the entire statement is made part of the record. >> u.s. park police when a deal this uniform agencies. they have enjoyed a partnership with the citizens of the district of columbia in the metropolitan police department. responsible for safety and crime prevention. the district of columbia of they have primary jurisdiction that is 22% including the national mall rock creek park mcpherson square, and many small triangle park's. part of the national park service of the department of
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interior in we are set by congressional legislation. officers are authorized to make arrests without warrants for any offense against the united states committed in their presence. further park police officers have the same powers and duties as metropolitan police officers within the district. enforcement is left to the individual officer on the ground depending on the circumstances. if they are arrested for civil possession of marijuana they can be currently charged under d.c. code. sole possession is a misdemeanor incarceration of to six months and a fine not more than of than $1,000. on a federal park land you can be charged under the national park service
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regulation resulting misdemeanor penalty of incarceration of six months and a fine of more than $5,000. finally meryl 11 dash rwanda's a schedule one controlled substance position is a misdemeanor in the conviction sentence is determined by the court. between 2010 and 2012 approximately 55% of park police arrest occurred on federal park land within district of columbia. majority were for civil possession some with intent to distribute. we understand the amendment act of 2014 with a vehement district law to not offer the regulation or federal law and that the act would make it did this with dash
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misdemeanor to smoke in a public space if it becomes law then we will work closely with the attorney's office to determine our future enforcement office on dash options especially if on parkway and. this concludes my statem> now turning to attorney generalnn criminal division you are recognized. >> chairman might get a and distinguished members of the the invitation to testify on behalf of the u.s.
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the u.s. attorney's office who have drug offenses under the d.c. code. federal law-enforcement has drug traffickers while state and local authorities focus their enforcement efforts on more localized drug activity. since decriminalization has been enacted the justice has worked with partners to target drug trafficking organizations. in to maintain coordination among federal and state and local law-enforcement.
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>> the guidance miranda was issued to all attorneys trekking prosecutors to fully investigate duplicate any one of eight priorities. this applies to all federal prosecutors of prosecutorial discretion the matter referred them live or what their laws in their states permit they had devoted resources to cases involving these priorities and will continue to do so in the future. we have enforcement accident -- actions near schools and actively investigate prosecute cases of international smuggling in the interstate shipment. marijuana grows where
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firearms and violence and public lands with organized crime. in addition in february guidances' issued related to financial crimes of marijuana. that would mitigate the public safety concerns without access to banking in the financial system at the same time to richer the criminal organization does not have access to the financial system it states clearly though provisions in the bank secrecy act remain with that conduct. under the federal enforcement priority of the memorandum. it expects financial
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suggestions to apply appropriate risk base procedures and controls sufficient for these customers including due diligence consistency within the guidance issued. in did all states of the district of columbia we're grateful for the dedicated work the federal bureau of investigation agents and prosecutors and state and local partners protecting communities from the dangers of illegal drug trafficking. recall is to insure we are effectively focused on the priorities outlined on the february 2014 guidance. ultimately it requires cooperation among law enforcement agencies at every level. of the forger taking your questions.
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>> rigo go to the program director here in the nation's capital. you are recognized. >> chairman mica distinguished member's thinking for the opportunity to discuss the popular decision to decriminalized small amounts of marijuana i am the program director of the aclu will work to protect civil liberties to public education. in 2013 the aclu published a nationwide study of the widespread disparity of marijuana arrest 2001 through 2010. the arrest rates for all 50 states soon thereafter the
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capital issued a shadow report called behind the d.c. numbers focusing on racial disparity in marijuana arrest in the district. well the aclu nationwide city that the possession did not make communities any safer. with public pressure march 2014 members of the
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d.c. council passed a margin the mayor wanted decriminalization amendment act of 2014. prior to that passage adults position was of misdemeanor punishable six months indite jail or $1,000 fine. to decriminalize marijuana makes it a civil offense subject to the $25 fine. in passing the district joint 11 other states that had already instituted similar legislation. in 2010 the black and white populations in the district where near the equal but yet nearly 91 percent of all arrests for marijuana related offenses were of black people. in 2010 alone 5,393 arrests
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for marijuana related offenses approximately three-quarters of those were for possession. in 2010 law enforcement officers made approximately 15 address per day. usage rates to not explain this racial disparity particularly when time and time again studies have shown that black and white populations use marijuana at remarkably similar rates. this is a 2010 nationwide survey. we have the 2001 and 2010 survey here that show based on self reported usage rates between black and white populations there are near equal rates. in addition studies have indicated drug markets
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reflect the racial and social economic boundaries. university students tend to sell to one another. here is a map of all the marijuana arrests in the district of columbia yellow is black individuals in blue is of white people. this map demonstrates the vast majority of arrests took place east of 16th street so you know, that these are the neighborhoods where the overwhelming majority of black residents live and also of the four major universities. so faced with the question of what to do the council considered several key factors. the cost of enforcing it was
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a huge factor they spend more per capita on marijuana enforcement than 50 states combined. conservatively estimated 2010 spent almost $26 million on marijuana enforcement. second, focusing pliable time on it for a reduced ability to respond to and solve more serious crimes. finally saddling thousands a primarily black men with convictions for possession year after year with negative consequences for employment and education and housing. and how to of a corrosive effect on the relationship. based on these factors the choice was clear the council who overwhelmingly decided to remove criminal penalties before i close the law briefly address federal versus local marijuana enforcement. according to our data which
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we have obtained from the foyer request 93% of of marijuana arrest in 2010 were made by the metropolitan police department. less than 3% in the district of columbia were made on federal land. according to our estimates approximately 90% of all arrests made under the d.c. code between federal and local enforcement we urge the committee to support the measure in the district of columbia. thank you steve is the key to each of the witnesses for their testimony and
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participation i fail to say at the opening phase q. we had to change the scheduling of this hearing at least twice in just a day with our departed member has we rat his funeral. one dash as we were at his funeral. when the start with quick questions. if there are 26 federal law-enforcement agencies you cited the august 292013 memo. that u.s. attorneys would not go after police the
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federal prosecution. you did site eight exceptions in the eighth one is to prevent marijuana possession and use on federal property. is that correct of what was issued? >> chairman mica i would characterize the memo slightly differently not the indication we would not prosecute federal marijuana laws except where those areas are indicated but what i would say is that indicated those are the areas we will focus priorities. we have instructed prosecutors to focus on that area. >> one is to prevent possession or use on federal property? >> that is correct spirit that is a conflict of what the department of justice
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has said and what they would do. we also looked calling in your u.s. attorney from colorado because that is one of two states because we have 20 states that have gone for the medical marijuana. we're not picking and the district but looking at prosecution every will be enforcing federal law on federal property. is that correct? train wreck correct. with possession. >> if i have a joint with possession what will you do?
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why iman federal property park service you told me the area that you cover what law will you enforce? >> with district of columbia code of federal regulations be ricky would force the federal law in conflict or efforts to what the district has passed? period that's correct. >> and the prosecutorial agency would either be? if the district has a different lot to end up in a different court? >> it has the authority of the>ñño?f% district for the s
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under the district of columbia code. and the case was brought to us in violation of federal law bin it would be prosecuted. >> and it was just testified 55 percent, give us the examples but the marijuana possession 55% of the offenses? what was that number? ref 55% of the arrests made made on federal park land. >> so we could have the increased number given with the disparity. >> i am not here to take away the district law but when it passed i am not here
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to review the implications of the district we have that least two states and one hearing to see how this would be a minister to and executed under the law. and i already putv÷yóe8 this in the record with federal prosecution but if he brought this up to be a schedule one narcotics even though the district has reduced the penalty. in the would prosecute under the new statute? >> that's correct.
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>> does not adjust local given the relationship with the district of columbia. with it's unique status with this kilo of jurisdictions. there is no question there is disparity of the prosecution when it comes to blacks. our prisons i know the correct number probably half the population is filled with african americans. the number of people in jail there is a larger population prosecuted for a whole host.
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and did is wrong they find themselves in that situation but i am not certain that changing the penalty in the district of columbia will benefit the population that much. , unfortunately it is a gateway narcotic we have testified and drew said deputy director under the president of the united states you brought up the topic with the marijuana equivalent to alcohol. not a question but a response your comments. i appreciate each of you coming we're trying to sort through the implications.
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and know what the administration will do. >> in terms of scheduling? ceramic that process is then referred to for a steady in the recommendation. >> we plan to bring in from a scientific theory it to see what is out there and review the whole process and right now with the law is changing we need to see where we're going with this. you're both law-enforcement officers and i hope you see the problems we try to sort through as a committee. >> we're trying to stick to a5 minutes because we do
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have five votes scheduled. >> just to clarify on park land and federal property i heard nothing said that it would be different on federal property federal buildings, i choked her you cannot be arrested. >> even up here. [laughter] but i was pointing out parts plant in federal property needs to be treated the same way year as other parts of the united states. >> that's correct. >> that there were any
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number of states. where the entire state virtually is owned by the federal government. does that create any particular difficulty with respect light skinned alaska they have decriminalized marijuana? has so much of the federal land have difficulties to enforce law on federal land? >> i am not aware of any particular area difficulties arising from a state like alaska. we will approach enforcement in the district of columbia just as like colorado or
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washington or other jurisdictions. >> for the record the federal government owns 81% of the land in nevada at 80 percent of utah's 60% in alaska. does it change the sale and distribution or the intent? >> that would be the irascible offense. >> what about notification of parents and guardians of a few fry it blind dash find in the hands of the use? reviews are issued a notice of violation less than 1 ounce and parents would be
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notified. spirit you noted where there are young people as a college town east of 16th street almost no arrests but there were high numbers. where african-americans live. why are there so many for possession? how do they come about? >> this study was descriptive we looked purely at the rest with anecdotal evidence. that have to do with the way marijuana enforcement is prioritized by various agencies. i think he's even with the number of the various agencies here in the
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district you see more than 93 percent of arrests are happening through the metropolitan police department. >> are these people if they pick up because of snow or odor? >> according to reports from young people is under the allegis no that they were singled out for a stop and search. but we found a majority of people who were arrested were not young. to files were less than 4%. >> i don't mean to denials. i mean young people. >> absolutely the pretext of voter was used to stop and initiate contact. >> the reason for the low-flying is the majority of the areas where people
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were being arrested are areas with high rates of low income individuals. the implication for the $25 fine is very different for a person at or below the poverty line and a person with middle-class or upper middle-class. that is more likely based on the rest patterns and -- the abreast patterns we wanted a fine that was a deterrent also manageable and did not saddle summer with the additional burden that is not realistic to pay. >> i find the racial disparity aspect of these
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laws very disturbing. but it does strike me the answer may not be just to ignore the of law. ms. sadanandan define racial disparity as well with crimes or possession? >> report did not live specifically add distribution but what i can say is based on a general survey of distribution crimes in the area like district's seven fed is largely african-american section we did find there were 276 a rest for distribution and that approximately between 20 and
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34 arrest but yet the yield was much, much higher in district two instead of district seven. >> so there will still be arrests for intent to distribute that has not changed. do anticipate a racial disparity with the enforcement of this law? >> we anticipate there will be less a rest the disparity will continue just not on this scale that we see now. >> to of the witnesses have testified there is the racial disparity. why are blacks arrested at a higher rate and water you doing about that? is not up to you to set the law but what can you do and what have you done?
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>> i don't know if i heard folks say it was the enforcement that was causing the disparity. thank him if you take a look at race for a particular crime other factors have to be considered before you draw any conclusions. one of the things that we look dash as a department that the laws are enforced we looked at calls for service. when they talk about two separate areas of the city. one was in the second district theater was in the seventh. we saw him in the second to district of predominantly right white we had 12 calls
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was 12 era of arrests. and 602 predominantly black neighborhood calls 518 calls with 249 marijuana rasper protocols of for service job of police to the area of the community calls to take action. i say that to say i don't anybody to have the impression that any agency it is there tactics. we need to take a closer look at the cause. >> who determines the prosecution at the department of justice? >> all to believe the attorney general andc"kw f!q(uty then each district. >> the attorney general eric holder who determines
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ultimately the priorities? >> yes. the attorney-generalçó#zíóñ!uçé any district the u.s. attorney has discretion how to enforce the law based on the circumstances. >> have you had i heard you say earlier you would enforce the laws of district of columbia the same way of colorado or washington but are you going to be any more or less diligent about prosecuting a rests on federal?z property in states with more lenient marijuana laws than others? >> that was the point of the august 2013 guidance. this is the enforcer priorities of the department regardless of the state laws. >> there is no difference
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with those states? >> our enforcement of marijuana laws on federal property would be the same regardless of the state law. >> we need to recognize mr. jordan. >> tomorrow will be one year since lois lerner went to a bar association to say irs is targeting conservative groups. four days later the attorney general announced after saying this was outrageous and unacceptable that there would be a criminal investigation. one month later we have fbi director asked three questions to was the lead agent? how many agents have you assigned it had to interview any of the victims? the response was i don't know. i don't know. i don't know. but i will get back to so now we should know that
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basic information. so i would like to know we know miss boston and one dash is interviewed because we have interviewed the same witnesses but the attorney general told us the public integrity section is involved in make is that accurate? >> both the criminal division has our career agents and the treasury inspector general. >> can you tell me the basic information about the questions i asked almost one year ago? who was the lead agent on this investigation? >> i am sure we can provide that civic we have asked seven times and sent to seven different degrees they just jealous of his ongoing. mr. muller told us he would get back to us.
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mr. o'neill, you're acting assistant agent c manage public integrity? are you involved of targeting conservative groups by the irs. >> i would disagree with the characterization. >> are you involved? >> am i involved? >> i oversee the public integrity section so yes director you familiar with mr. cooney? >> he is involved of the investigation is you the lead agent? >> i am not familiar with the name. >> who is leading the investigation? who is the point person of targeting of conservative groups through the iris merrick this is far afield of the subject. >> but you oversee the public integrity section for are just want to know this
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is one of the biggest cases you have got and you don't know who is leading the investigation? garett there are career prosecutors. >> how many? >> in total? i cannot tell you that. >> is this an important case for the justice department of first amendment rights were violated how they were targeted? >> i characterize that situation differently. >> you don't even know how many agents are involved with your division? >> they are involved from the fbi. >>, the attorneys from your division? >> i cannot give you a precise number of. >> earlier this week with a bipartisan majority 26 democrats joined every single republican to say we should have a special
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counsel take over this investigation. , like the states and actions of the irs and departed justice with the administration undermines the investigation''. that was part of the resolution. to you think we need a special counsel that no one seems to know how many agents or attorneys are involved in knowing can tell me to is leading it. even the people do you think we need a special counsel with that resolution? >> i think the attorney general and others in the department of answer that question and that no a special counsel is not warranted. >> you're not going to recommend that or that they would consider that at all even though 26 democrats who
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said what is going on at the justice department? we think it is time for a special prosecutor. >> that suggestion has been made. >> is not a suggestion it is a vote of the house with 26 democrats joining republicans to say this is not a real investigation. when the person leading to $6,750 to the presidential campaign even democrats agree someone else needs to be in charge. >> i think the prosecution is led and managed by a career prosecutors civil-rights division with assistance from career agents and treasury inspector general and fbi. >> i hope the attorney general will listen to 26 fellow democrats in the house earlier this week when
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they voted we need a special counsel. >> we have less than one minute remaining. i will recess until 12:15 p.m.. we will conclude by 12:30 p.m.. we have at least a few more questions. we're in recess until then. [inaudible conversations] one when
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>> i will call the subcommittee back to order think you for your indulgence. once again we appreciate your patience and accommodating this subcommittee. we have one more member who wanted to ask questions. in the meantime, one of the questions i would pose s3 wait for the other members, looking at effective penalties relating to marijuana leading to the increased rate of a drunk driving to mike understanding we don't have the standard.
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this is something i will look at a nationally to determine the level of narcotics in the bloodstream and also that marijuana can be detected in the bloodstream for some time after it is used. the whole question to dry compared is raised. to uc any problem with increased use of marijuana with no lowering of the penalties and also the inability to come up with the task that would indicate the level of intoxication by marijuana? >> i don't think so.
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we assume there would not be the increase of use. there will not be any change we currently in force people who were driving under the influence. >> but we don't have a test that is administered is a standard nationally within the district with the amount of marijuana that is tolerated? >> no. the way it is tested are given a road test to perform certain functions then there is the assumption they are in pairs. >> but you do a blood test? >> we can if necessary. >> that is a question for another hearing we see that issue across the united states. i will yield to dr. fleming.
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>> thank you. i want to welcome our panel. first of all, listening to testimony the justification to do criminalizes on the basis of racial disparity that is the only real argument i have heard. i would like to ask our to police professionals. can you give a rough estimate of white first is non-white members of the officers in the field to make the arrest? just a ranges find. >> i am not sure. >> about 60% this gimmicks of the majority.
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>> i don't have the air proximate number of the breakdown. >> would you say it is evenly balanced? they were well represented by african-american and white? >> we have the responsibility it a diverse work force. >> if you except the numbers i don't doubt those but the implication that the police officer is a racially biased so how do you explain a majority of officers are african-american certainly you don't think they are racially biased against their own